Dwyane Wade stayed in the zone and brought the Heat back to snap a three game loosing streak. Wade had his 11th, 30-plus point game of the season and he needed it tonight.
Bryant was 12-for-24 with 28 points tonight, but it was not enough to allow the Lakers to get their fifth straight win.
The game was won by the Heat because of aggressiveness and willingness to make the extra effort.
The Lakers were 10-of-19 from the free throw line. They shot a miserable 52.6 percent, with Bryant only getting to the line four times, making 3-of-4. The Heat shot 17-of-24, making a decent 70.8 percent. Wade shot 10 of that 17, making seven of them.
It looks like the Lakers continue to play a little better with Walton in over Radmanovic, but that is not saying much when Walton is only averaging three points per game this year. He does put up numbers and stats that are not listed and those are the important ones for the Lakers right now. However, if they are going to win the whole enchilada they will need to be firing on all cylinders.
Despite the off night, the Lakers still have the momentum and are the head of the pack in the west (21-4).
For Miami to make a run at Atlanta and Orlando, they will have to get a lot more production out of Marion, Haslem, Chalmers, and Anthony. They are lucky to be a .520 team at this point in the season.
If Miami can maintain this kind of hard nosed, aggressive play from their team, you will see a surge by Miami in the East. The question remains, how long can Miami ride on Wade’s back? He is averaging 36.8 minutes per game and the Heat only just past the half way mark of the season.
On the flip side, Bryant is also carrying the Lakers load while averaging 34.7 minutes and a team leading 25.2 PPG. With this being Bryant’s 12th year in the league, he is not showing any signs of slowing down.
Hopefully both players can ride this one out for their respective teams or there will be disaster. I guess this is why Wade is making $14.4 million this year and Bryant $21.2 million. They are not the highest paid players in the league because they sit on the bench.